by Emily Hughes
Published by Flying Eye Books,
an imprint of Nobrow Ltd.
Welcome to shorts SHORT Review this month we've been focusing on space and for the second half I wanted to focus on adventure, our more wild side. That's what I love about Space Adventures, since space is another form of nature, it's natural and potentially infinite. Though when I enter a forest it feels the same, but virtually infinite. All the plants and lives that are whispered into the wilderness is impressive and otherworldly or abnormal, alien to my person and my mind. This is why I enjoyed reading Wild by Emily Hughes, who captured the feeling of the world and the forest perfectly from the point of view of someone that would feel it's large embrace.
The first thing that everyone sees is the cover of a book, it's the number one thing to get a person to pick it up and want to live in that world. For me I wanted to know the story of our moss-haired protagonist. My initial response to the cover "front to back this is an amazing book for Illustrators and Cartoonist"! Everything about this is filled with detail and texture, the palette used ample amounts of natural colors, which is prefect for this book and all of the attributes in it.
Not even the first page and I already know that I like this book, it's interesting, it's title page with the main character (who was on the cover) is our introduction to the book as a whole. Anyhow the true first page opens to a field of flowers with a stump, tree, crow, fox, and bear, also a little baby human. A lot is drawn to my eyes, the page's use of texture, the way the pencil and pen lines blend into fur and the tree bark reaches for the Sun. It's this skillful design work and well thought out placement of the characters interacting with the page and each other that make this book amazing. The Baby grows up, well to a toddle, but grows and her hair reflect her surrounding, it's a mess of moss and leaves and tangled vines. Nothing about it says a comb had anything to do with it's current design. Like Tarzan we see that she is learning from the animals, speaking and living as if one of them, without harm or fear.
Tea Steeping pondering her chores, deciding if they're so bad after all.
Till one day hunters snagged her hair in a bear trap, the interesting part about that is, Bear traps are outlawed. Now why this is interesting is that the time of this piece. It's a recently made book, though I think it's a period piece, set in the 1900, personally closer toward 1940 or 1950, since the attire of the characters feel like they're boarding the 1960's. This is the touch of a skilled illustrator, this is how one makes a picture pop, the characters and focal points all are cleaned and properly colored, giving a sentence on one side of the page and the other, through the drawing its self. Truly defining what the words mean and how much detail is in one part of the story.
The story starts off with a little girl that is brought up and born in nature, then is taken back to humanity and is out of place, confused and frustrated she fights her way out and dives back into the peace of nature, the wild and lives happily with those that treat her well and with the love she desires and comprehend. There's a classic question in this story "Nature V. Nurture", does one think that the little girl could have stayed with the Doctor and wife or was she always fated to live in the forest? I can talk about how I enjoy this style of illustrations and dissect each page with giddy glee, though I'll leave it all to your eyes. If you love wonderfully detail terrariums, then you will get this book and never put it down.
I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
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